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Police: Oxford professor a homicide victim

Jan. 12, 2012 at 4:45 PM

OXFORD, England, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A professor at Britain's oldest university found dead at a house a few miles from Oxford was a homicide victim, Thames Valley police said Thursday.

A 49-year-old man was under arrest and being questioned as a suspect in the death of Steven Rawlings, The Guardian reported. Police said officers were called to a house in Southmoor late Wednesday and found Rawlings' body.

Rawlings, 50, an astrophysicist, was a tutorial fellow at St. Peter's College at Oxford University. He was a lead scientist on developing the Square Kilometer Array, the world's largest radio telescope.

Detective Superintendent Rob Mason said no one appears to have been at the house in Southmoor, 6 miles west of Oxford, except Rawlings and his suspected killer. The cause of death had not been released pending an autopsy.

Mark Damazer, the master of St. Peter's, described Rawlings as a "much liked and admired tutor and colleague." Rawlings is survived by his wife, Linda.

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